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Minister Should Go for Abysmal Failure on Swamp Kauri Export

Press Release – New Zealand First Party

11 MARCH 2016 Minister Should Go for Abysmal Failure on Swamp Kauri Exports The cover-up of the Ministry of Primary Industries failure to stem the tide of swamp kauri log exports has been so intense the High Court has been forced to rule that it release …Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
Member of Parliament for Northland

11 MARCH 2016

Minister Should Go for Abysmal Failure on Swamp Kauri Exports

The cover-up of the Ministry of Primary Industries’ failure to stem the tide of swamp kauri log exports has been so intense the High Court has been forced to rule that it release documents, says New Zealand First.

“What is the Ministry and the Minister of Primary Industries Nathan Guy hiding? The answer is their failure to act in the public interest and uphold the law.

“The Ministry and the Minister have been conniving right through this sorry episode. It’s time for Mr Guy to go and be accountable for this cover-up. Against this background of murky information the Ministry spokespeople behaved diabolically, they should go as well.

“The court has ordered the ministry to hand over thousands of emails so a Northland environmental group can proceed with a court case related to the exports. At the same time the judge says the evidence he has so far confirms that there was widespread evasion of the prohibitions around the export of ancient swamp kauri.

“The Ministry’s refusal to allow access to the emails is a carry over from repeated denials in parliament and the media last year over illegal kauri log exports.

“New Zealand First was consistently told by Minister Guy that everything was fine while a Northland asset continued to be flogged off without the absolute added value to Northland or New Zealand.

“Last year he started an internal inquiry to shut down the issue, yet it was clear that a rough slab was not a finished product, and therefore could not be exported. Faint scribblings on a log did not constitute a finished product either.

“The Northland Environmental Protection Society should be congratulated for having the courage, tenacity and preparedness to make a financial sacrifice against a department and minister using taxpayers’ money.

“The reason why the National Party has been involved in this cover up is because they have got members who are involved.”

ENDS

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